The Reborn Noble Girl is Hard to Find | 36: United Trouble

Chapter 36: United Trouble

So in this life, Han Yan had an initial wariness towards beautiful things. Thus, after the initial amazement upon seeing He Lianyu’s breathtaking appearance, she felt no further interest.

Thinking this way, Han Yan glanced at him lightly, then lowered her gaze, looking docile and submissive.

He Lianyu continued to stare at her. The girl seemed to freeze under his gaze, then quickly lowered her head, but her last look seemed to carry a hint of mockery?

He must be imagining things. He Lianyu shook off the thought, and started chatting with his brothers.

The atmosphere at the banquet wasn’t lively, probably because of the Emperor and Empress’s presence. Although the officials tried to show happiness, their behavior remained somewhat restrained. The Emperor and Empress also wore only faint expressions, not showing much joy.

Han Yan found it strange that there was no festive atmosphere at the banquet.

While she was still pondering, a young eunuch loudly announced, “The Prince Xuanqing and General Cheng have arrived…”

The Emperor’s face immediately showed a trace of a smile. “Let them in!”

Two tall and straight figures walked in, bringing with them the chilly air of snowflakes, and bowed in the hall. “This humble servant greets Your Majesty!”

Unlike the bold and loud voice, the next voice was clear and deep, striking Han Yan like a thunderbolt, leaving her stunned for a long time. “This humble subject greets Your Majesty!”

“You may rise.”

Han Yan quickly looked up, seeing that familiar tall figure standing in the hall, exuding a noble and formidable aura. The sight of the familiar black cloud leopard cloak with its slightly damp winter moisture stunned her.

The mysterious man in the plum grove turned out to be Prince Xuanqing, Fu Yunxi!
Han Yan stared at his back, her fists tightly clenched in her sleeves. Getting involved with such a person of status, it was really hard to tell whether it was a blessing or a curse!

Deng Chan noticed Han Yan’s odd behavior and, seeing her staring at Prince Xuanqing, leaned in teasingly, “And you teased me. Now it looks like you are the one smitten. Why are you staring at him? Be careful not to let your aunt see and make trouble.”

Han Yan blushed, about to retort but then remembered that Deng Chan had her best interest at heart. Zhou Shi always watched her every move, eager to catch her in some mistake. If she saw her staring just now, it would indeed be troublesome. So Han Yan lowered her head, focusing on the tea leaves floating in her cup.

Deng Chan chuckled and nudged Han Yan, “Silly girl, it’s fine to look. Every girl here is staring at that side, one more won’t matter.”

Han Yan looked up and saw that indeed, the young ladies around her were blushing and gazing at Prince Xuanqing. Poor General Cheng was being ignored. The girls’ infatuated gazes were even bolder than when they looked at He Lianyu.

Han Yan recalled Deng Chan’s words: “The most prominent figure in the capital.” Although Prince Xuanqing’s appearance couldn’t compare to He Lianyu’s, he wasn’t as gentle as Wei Rufeng, as carefree as Jiang Yulou, or as brave as Cheng Lei. Yet, he possessed a natural charm, an elegance that needed no embellishment. If one word could describe him, it would be “unparalleled.”

But no matter how excellent he was, his cold eyes were terrifying enough. How could so many girls fall for him? Wondering this, Han Yan continued to gaze at his back, filled with curiosity.

At that moment, he slightly turned his head, his dark eyes flashing with a hint of meaning, his gaze falling on Han Yan.

Han Yan stiffened, quickly lowering her head, praying that Prince Xuanqing hadn’t recognized her, that it was just her imagination.

The Emperor’s pleased voice rang out, “General Cheng, you have repelled the enemy and dealt a heavy blow to Xirong, greatly enhancing the prestige of our dynasty. You deserve a great reward. I bestow upon you ten thousand taels of gold, three thousand acres of fertile land, one hundred shops, and fifty high-grade residences. If you desire anything else, just tell me, and I will grant it!”

Such a lavish reward shocked everyone. General Cheng was just over twenty years old, yet he was already a general, and now he was receiving these rewards, which truly made people envious.

The Emperor considered Cheng Lei a loyal friend of Fu Yunxi, who had proven his loyalty. Despite his youth, Cheng Lei was an exceptional warrior with a promising future. However, given his young age, he couldn’t be promoted further for now to maintain balance among the court’s factions. As an emperor, every move required careful planning. Although the rewards sounded generous, they were mainly silver, which was of little use to a military officer who spent most of his time on the battlefield. To compensate, the Emperor offered Cheng Lei the chance to ask for more.

Cheng Lei respectfully bowed, his voice strong and clear, “Thank you, Your Majesty, for your great kindness. I dare not ask for more.”

The Emperor smiled contentedly, waving his hand, “Very well, you and Yunxi may take your seats. The banquet is about to begin, and all of you should drink a few more cups today.”

The two officials took their seats next to the Emperor, with General Cheng sitting next to Prince Wei, Wei Jing, whose face was very grim, giving Cheng Lei a cold snort.

Others who supported Prince Wei also looked displeased. Zhuang Shiyang was one of them. His face was cold, and he felt even more resentful. Cheng Lei, just a young lad, had become the Emperor’s favorite, further empowering Prince Xuanqing’s faction, which didn’t bode well for his career.

Zhuang Hanming noticed his father’s dark expression and seemed to understand a bit. However, he didn’t feel close to his father and instead admired General Cheng greatly. Despite his father’s constant pressure to study hard at the Imperial Academy, he longed to make a name for himself on the battlefield. Watching General Cheng’s upright and heroic demeanor, he couldn’t help but feel more admiration.

Han Yan had been afraid to look up since earlier, feeling very conflicted. She had thought the mysterious man in the plum grove was a prince, but never expected him to be Prince Xuanqing. Now things were complicated. Everyone knew Prince Xuanqing and the Emperor shared a deep brotherly bond. She had trespassed into a forbidden area and witnessed something she shouldn’t have, involving royal secrets. Naturally, Prince Xuanqing would side with the Emperor, and she might be in danger!

She had hoped that if caught, pleading for mercy might make him soften since she was just a young girl. But now, realizing he was rumored to be a “cut sleeve” who hated women, and considering her previous disrespectful actions towards him, Han Yan felt more confused than ever. For the first time since her rebirth, she felt utterly at a loss.

  • 30 June 2024